Prof. Hart gives seminar at University of Stirling on Lifelong Learning and Optimisation

02/05/2014 University of Stirling

Prof. Hart discussed the latest findings from her EPSRC funded ROLL project in  an invited seminar at the University of Stirling on 2nd May.

Immune Inspired lifelong Learning Method for Solving Combinatorial Optimisation Problems

The previous two decades have seen significant advances in meta-heuristic and hyper-heuristic optimisation techniques that are able to quickly find optimal or near-optimal solutions to problem instances in many combinatorial optimisation domains. Despite many successful applications of both these approaches, some common weaknesses exist in that if the nature of the problems to be solved changes over time, then algorithms needs to be periodically re-tuned. Furthermore, many approaches are likely to be inefficient,  starting from a clean slate every time a problem is solved, therefore failing To exploit previously learned knowledge.

In contrast, in the field of machine-learning, a number of recent proposals suggest that learning  algorithms should exhibit life-long learning, retaining knowledge and using it to improve learning in the future. Looking to nature, we observe that the natural immune system exhibits many properties of a life-long learning system that could be computationally exploited. I will give a brief overview of the immune system, focusing on highlighting its relevant computational properties and then show how it can be used to construct a lifelong learning optimisation system. The system is shown to adapt to new problems, exhibit memory, and produce efficient and effective solutions when tested on a large corpus of bin-packing problems.
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Associated people

Emma Hart
Director of CEC
+44 131 455 2783
Real World Optimisation with Life-Long Learning (ROLL)
This project aims to improve the current state of the art in developing optimisation tools which are relevant and acceptable to industry. This will be achieved by addressing industrial current concerns regarding the ability of academic optimisation techniques to deal effectively with highly...
Bio-inspired Computing
The Bio-Inspired Algorithms group within the Centre for Algorithms, Visualisation and Evolving Systems is a large and thriving group with interests in nature-inspired computing that include Evolutionary Computing, Hyper-Heuristics, Artificial Immune Systems and Swarm Intelligence.